With an axe in hand he swings nearly … wait, pause, this sounds familiar. Whoever watches this movie knows what happens even though they haven not seen it before; he misses and the good guy gets away in time. Different works, be it literature or media, can share some universal truths like the good guy usually wins. We can see that George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm and M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, The Village has some similarities. Animal Farm and The Village have some universally common themes.
In order for a utopia to emerge, it needs a distinct system of rules that are strongly adhered to. Initially Animal Farm prospers because The Seven Commandments, the distinct set of rules, are followed. However, when the rules were changed the society went downhill. Muriel said, “It says ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets‘”(Orwell 832). This shows that a small rule changing can have a big meaning. The pigs were unhappy with the rule so they changed it. Technically, they broke the original rule, by sleeping on a bed, showing signs of a decline. The breaking of the original rule, not just by anyone but by the leaders, is a blemish on the society. A utopia is perfect; Animal Farm is no longer perfect. Shyamalan’s The Village has a set of rules too. This set is a little different in that it is based primarily around morals.
These rules are only broken by the elders who break them to hide the evil world from the villagers. One big bold rule is that no one is to enter the woods. This rule is strongly adhered to. This shows that that, even though fear plays a part in it, the society is perfect due to rules remaining intact, from the outside anyway. From the outside, the village is perfect because they follow the rules. Had they entered the woods they too would become corrupt from civilization. If they did not follow the rules, like in Animal Farm, they would be corrupt and no longer a utopia. In both Animal Farm and The Village we can see two rule systems; one is intact and the other is not.
Rules are one way to control the masses; fear is another. In Orwell’s Animal Farm the pigs use fear to prevent civil unrest. Squealer cried, “Do you know what would happen if we pigs fail in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes Jones would come back! Surly there is no one among you who wants to see Jones back” (Orwell 820). This is a quote from when the pigs are speaking to the animals concerning the apples and milk that the pigs are hoarding. This shows that the pigs continually use fear to get what the want. Jones will not come back if the apples and milk are distributed to all the animals. Squealer is only using Jones name because it is a load word (name) that signifies hardship and trouble. Squealer is using fear to make the animals believe something that is wrong. Similarly in The Village the people are afraid of going into the woods. The elders did not just make a rule about not entering the woods; they also created a story to prevent the villagers from entering the woods. The story goes that monsters (those we do not speak of) live in the woods; all who enter will be killed by them. The people who watch the movie through see that there are no such monsters, only civilization. The elders use fear to prevent the people from venturing around the woods and finding the real world. This shows that the elders are controlling the villagers by appealing to their fears. They are afraid to enter the woods; so therefore they will not be corrupted by the world. In both Animal Farm and The Village the leaders use fear as a control method in conjunction with rules.
In this corrupt twenty-first century world, utopias are nearly impossible to conceive let alone create. Animal Farm succeeded in being a utopia, for the first day that is. “The creatures looked from pig to man, from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” (Orwell 854). In the story man is portrayed an evil and fraudulent. If the pigs and man are indistinguishable, than that means pigs too are corrupt. This shows that no matter what, negative human instincts, like greed, will come into play and cause corruption. If corruption is present then a utopia simply can not exist. Shyamalan’s village is not a utopia but it is still a very pure place. It can not be called a utopia because there was a murder in the village. When Noah killed Lucius the utopia became no more. A murder is a flaw on the village, and in order to be utopian the place must be flawless. Even after they isolated themselves from the real world, they became faulty. Noah, even though he was an impaired person, murdered Lucius, which is a flaw. Any flaw intentional or unintentional it still is a flaw. Animal Farm and The Village both try to be utopian, but both fall into corruption.
Animal Farm and The Village have their respective similarities and differences. Some of the similarities it shares are their themes. Both are controlled by a combination of rules and fear, as well as they both attempt to be utopian but fail. If looked deep enough, one can see that these two stories are very much alike. One may even experience a déjà vu reading Animal Farm and watching The Village.